Sunday, August 8, 2010

Honeymoon Part 2: Travel Meltdown

The actual vacation part of our honeymoon was perfect. We saw amazing sites, ate delicious food, danced the night away, and enjoyed spending time together. It was much more than we could have asked for. Unfortunately, the travel portion of our trip was a total debacle.

In typical Samantha fashion, we were packed and ready to go long before it was time to get the airport. Our plan was to hop on a short flight to JFK, New York, have a big lunch/dinner during our 4 hour layover, fall asleep on our longer flight, and wind up in Venice ready to start exploring. Our perfect plan, did not go quite so well.

From the beginning, we knew our patience would be tested. Our first flight was delayed from Boston due to weather in NY. We were able to board the flight, but then we were stuck on the plane for 3 hours. Thanks to new federal regulations, we eventually had to get off the plane...just when the weather cleared up. It took so long to get everyone back on the plane that the weather that was holding us up in New York made it to Boston. FINALLY, we took off and landed in JFK with 20 minutes to spare.
Keeping our spirits up while waiting in Boston
When we landed in NY, for an unexplained reason, our plane was held on the tarmac for 15 minutes leaving us just 5 minutes to make our connection. After a heroic run through JFK airport, complete with pushing people out of the way, jumping over luggage, and sprinting to the finish line, we made it to the gate just as the doors shut. We literally stood there, watching the plane back out of the gate without us. There were some serious tears and a lot of frustration, but we quickly tried to make the best of it. This was our honeymoon after all! We were only missing 1 day in Venice, not our entire cruise. The next flight we could take to Venice was from Newark, New Jersey. So we hopped in a cab that had way too many close calls with other cars, and passed out in a hotel near the airport.
Our New Jersey home for the night
We woke in NJ, ate a delicious breakfast, then headed out to the airport 3 hours in advance (as advised by the airline). Once we got the airport, we learned quickly that Air France did not open until 2 hours before our flight and we had to stand in line for longer than we had intended to. Thank goodness for Sudoku. Eventually, the line opened, we waited another 2 hours for our flight, and boarded the flight (ON TIME!!!) to Paris. 
On our sleepless night flight to Paris
Once in Paris, we had 30 minutes to clear customs, security, and make it to the gate. This time, with only a small set of tears, we made it!

About to board our final flight to Venice!
Our flight landed without any trouble in Venice and we quickly got our luggage and made our way to the ship. We were exhausted but excited. Our honeymoon was here and we could not wait to get on the ship!
FINALLY! In Venice ready to get on the ship and relax
We had an amazing week on board the Splendour of the Seas (See Honeymoon Part 1: Amazing Vacation), though there were a few mishaps on board as well. 

In Santorini, we went swimming in the Aegean Sea. It was a very cool experience to dive off the side of a boat into open ocean and swim around in hot springs. Of course, climbing out of the Sea, covered in a rash from head to toe was not so fun. I was allergic to something in the water and did not react well.  Of course, we had forgotten to bring Benadryl with us and had to run around looking for something. Luckily, they had it on board and in a few days I was feeling - and looking - much better. I also drank some tap water at one of stops that did not sit well with me. So during the 7 days that we were cruising the Mediterranean, I was sick for 4 of them. Not a great average, but Josh will attest, I was a trooper. We still saw and did everything we had intended to do, and had a blast along the way.

After a great day in Venice, we made our way back to the Marco Polo Airport. We figured we had used up all of our bad travel luck on the way to Venice, and were feeling pretty good about getting home on time. Boy, were we mistaken! 

The first thing we saw when got the airport was that our flight was cancelled and there was a 2 hour long line to wait in to change our flight. Again, Sudoku saved us. Plus ahead of us there were 16 teenage girls from a Water Polo team that added extra entertainment. Josh has never been more happy that he was not the coach in charge.

Very unhappy that our flight home was cancelled 
We were re-booked on a flight through Paris to New York, but could not get home from there that night. We decided to risk it and get back to NY anyway. It was the 4th of July after all. 
Sad and tired from sitting in 5 different lines all day and only being able to get the NY, not Boston
9 hours later, we were in Paris and ready to head back home.  We spent much of our time looking through our pictures and remembering our great trip...and wishing were home already!
In Paris, waiting to fly to New York and a little happier
Of course on the flight from Paris, I was sitting next to a man that wreaked so badly of smoke that I began to have trouble breathing. We thought our luck was finally about to change when our flight attendant saved me by moving us to a higher class. Boy were we wrong. When we landed in New York, someone left their bag unattended there was a terror alert and we were forced to sit on the plane for another hour. While we sat and waited, the last flight of the night left JFK and made its way to Boston without us. We could not bare the thought of spending the night in the airport and decided to rent a car and drive home. Josh was amazing! He drove the whole way, and despite my best efforts to keep him company, I passed out the minute we were on the highway.

At 3:00am we pulled into our house and went straight to bed. When we woke in the morning, we were happy, refreshed, and so glad that we had driven. All of the morning flights from New York to Boston were late due to weather!

Our travel experiences on our honeymoon were less than idea. But together we had fun, cried at times, played way too much Sudoku, and laughed through it all. Although I hope I never have a travel nightmare like this again, if I do, I want to have Josh there. He made the whole experience fun...well, almost fun.

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